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Steam content file is locked: Quick Fix

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  • 4 min read

Steam is one of the most popular PC gaming platforms ever to have existed. While usually, it provides a pretty fluid user experience, just like everything tech, it can run into some issues from time to time.

In this article, we’re looking at the Steam content file is locked error, its causes and some solutions you can use to fix the problem.

What causes this error?

The error is mainly caused due to a problem with Steam not being able to access the files required to run the update. This, in turn, can be caused by a problem with permissions. 

Also read: Steam friends network unreachable: 5 Fixes

How to fix this?

Here are a few solutions you can try out.

Check integrity of Steam game files 

Luckily, Steam has a built-in feature that verifies your game files and reinstalls any files that might be damaged. Follow these steps.

Step 1: Head over to your Steam Library, right-click on CSGO and select Properties.

How to fix the 'VAC was unable to verify your game session' error?

Step 2: Head over to the Local Files tab.

How to fix the 'VAC was unable to verify your game session' error?

Step 3: Click on Verify integrity of local files… and let Steam do its thing. 

How to fix the 'VAC was unable to verify your game session' error?

However, if it isn’t, follow the steps mentioned below.

Check Steam servers

Another thing you should do is check whether or not the service itself is working or not. Steam is used by millions across the globe, and the occasional outage here and there isn’t anything surprising. 

You can use this page to check Steam’s server status. 

Reinstall Steam

Reinstalling Steam from scratch can also help fix the problem. This will get rid of any corrupt, damaged or missing system files that Steam needs to run properly, which might be triggering the issue for you. 

Check your DNS settings

If you’re running custom DNS settings on purpose or by mistake, having them set incorrectly can cause internet connectivity issues.

Flushing your DNS settings can set them back to the default values and resolve such issues. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + R, type cmd and hit the Enter key.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 2: Type in ipconfig /flushdns and hit enter. This will reset your DNS settings to their defaults.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

You can take this a step further and reset Windows files to access the internet by using these commands back to back.

netsh winsock reset
netsh int ip reset

If you suspect an issue with your router’s DHCP assignment, use these commands to release your old IP and request a new one. 

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

If that doesn’t work either, you can use the following commands in the order that they’re listed to reset your network stack.

nbtstat -R
nbtstat -RR
netsh int ip reset C:\resetlog.txt
netsh winsock reset

Check your hard drive

Problems with your storage drive can also cause Steam to lose access to the files it needs to run the upgrade. If that’s the case, run a disk scan to check your drive and take appropriate action. 

Check out this detailed guide to know how to run a disk checkup on Windows.

Change Steam library location

Changing the location of your Steam library can also help get around this issue. 

Step 1: Open Steam and click Steam in the top-left. Click Settings from the menu.

Steam content file is locked: 6 Fixes

Step 2: Head over to the Downloads tab and click the Steam Library Folders button.

Steam content file is locked: 6 Fixes

Step 3: In the Storage Manager, click the plus icon to make a new library.

Steam content file is locked: 6 Fixes

Now move all your games to the new library location and try again. 

Also read: How to fix Steam error code 118?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: